The Americans is a hit TV show on FX, set in the early 1980s at the end of the Cold War. It follows a pair of KGB agents embedded in the US, posing as normal citizens with their children. Premiering January 30, 2013, The Americans just started into its 5th season of a planned 6 total seasons and each season has received high marks from critics and fans alike.
The Americans studies the lives of these agents, their KGB-arranged marriage, and the family they raise in America. Their children are being raised as normal American kids, with no idea their parents plot kidnappings and assassinations in the basement while they sleep. The popular FX show hits many chords, playing out as a family drama, a spy thriller and a nostalgic look back at the 1980s for the Boomers and Gen-Xers out in ‘TV-Land’.
Aerobo’s drone services team was tasked with a complex, scenic shot following a car. Aerobo brought its proprietary heavy-lift X8 drone platform for the job, employing the Alexa Mini with Ultra Prime lenses. The Director of Photography requested 6 different lenses for the shoot. With different masses for each lens, every switch requires a rebalancing of the gimbal to ensure optimal footage and flight characteristics. Aerobo’s experience meant the requirements were executed flawlessly with minimal downtime for adjustments.
The shot chased a car across a field and under a canopy with a downward slope, presenting another unique challenge. The pilot had to fly the drone and change positions while flying to maintain FAA required line-of-sight to the drone. This maneuvering had to be accomplished ‘under-flight’ without the pilot’s movements affecting the drone flight path.
The atmosphere of the show is dark and brooding, and the weather contributed well, giving Aerobo’s aerial shots a moody tone. Frequent bursts of rain required complete break-down and re-setup of the shot by the crew. Light rain is not an issue for drone functionality but for a translational shot any forward motion puts rain on the lens ruining the image. As good weather presented itself, The Americans team and Aerobo put together the shots for the scene.
Aerobo, as the industry leader for drone cinematography and professional drone services, can tackle any set of drone services requirements. Aerobo leverages cutting-edge drone technology combined with experienced and dedicated professional drone pilots, camera operators and crew to ensure that each drone cinematography project is immaculate.
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